Caught in a Loop
"Then we turned back and headed for the wilderness by way of the Red Sea, as the Lord had told me, and we traveled around the hill country of Seir for many days. The Lord then said to me, 'You've been traveling around this hill country long enough; turn north.' " Deuteronomy 2:1-3
So this journey I want to share with you did not take us to the wilderness by way of the Red Sea, but it did take us on a road course adventure (the first of many for Sonya and I).
Let's go back to the summer of my seventeenth year. A lot was happening in our family. I had just gotten moved into our country abode; work on the farm was monotonous (I chose no part of it, I'm ashamed to say) and the only event I was looking forward to was summer vacation. My parents had already made the plans for this trip and I was packing my swimsuits and sun tan oil as fast as a chipmunk gathers acorns (those little guys can store 165 acorns in one day, did you know that?). But that has nothing to do with this...
We headed to the beach on that beautiful Saturday morning by way of Stockbridge, Georgia first stopping for our cousin's wedding. The plan was for Sonya and I and our two best friends to spend the night with my aunt and uncle in Georgia and then the next morning be on our glorious way to Panama City Beach, Florida (excitement filled the air and may I add...I had only been the proud owner of a State drivers license for one full year). Mama and Daddy had to go back home to finish some work on the farm before heading down to meet us a few days later (I believe the ammonia in the chicken houses had burned away at their brain cells).
So there we found ourselves in my Ford Pinto with the white Starsky and Hutch stripe (refer to post, 'Beauty and the Bean') riding down the oh so frantically busy freeway of the Peach State on our way to the white sandy beaches that awaited us. I admit I had no idea how to get where I was going. We took off at a rapid pace, keeping up with all the traffic and reading the big, green signs as best we could. (My 'mama hands' are sweating just writing this as my memory takes me back to that day.) We made quite a few stops to ask for directions along the way, one being at a fire station near one of the many exits we took to find assistance. This poor, poor man innocently washing his fire truck became our target. I jumped out of my car and told him about our crisis (in more detail than he cared to hear) and he dutifully pointed me in the direction I should be going. I graciously said thank you and took off, now so confident of our course, only to return later after making a complete loop around the 285 Atlanta Bypass to the same firehouse (I'll never forget the look on that man's face).
I really don't know how we finally made it except through sheer determination and God telling me... "You've been driving these crazy interstates long enough; turn South" I felt we had been traveling for many days as the Israelites had in Seir. But our adventure only took us nine hours (I know...I'm just as shocked). We were never so happy to see palm trees and smell the gulf waters, knowing that we had finally arrived!
Moses addressed the people of Israel to remind them of all they had learned while wandering the desert for forty years. God knew what was in the hearts of the multitude He was rescuing from slavery but He wanted them to know it, so He showed them in the desert. He does that to us also. He wants us to humble ourselves and know that He is God; that all we have is from Him.
The things we go through here on earth are testing us to teach us. He shows us who we really are through our trials, what we are made of and who we depend upon as we walk. He humbles us so that we will be heaven ready.
We are being molded into His image everyday:
Are you paying attention? (Isaiah 28:23)
Are you learning and bowing to His will? (Deut. 13:4)
Do you feel His presence in your life? (Ps. 46:11)
Are you humbling yourself before Him? (1 Peter 3:8)
"His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him--though He is not far from any one of us." (Act 17:27)
You see girls, we must carry a map (Bible) with us and study it for direction in this life. The Lord will guide us on our way, even better than an astounded firefighter holding a water hose. He will not lose His temper and will never tire of redirecting us no matter how many times it takes.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for getting us safely where we are going. May we always keep our eyes on You, study Your Word and trust in Your perfect guidance. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.